Nathaniel Phillips really couldn’t have done much more last year.
Coming into an emergency situation due to the number of centre back injuries, the academy graduate really did himself justice. Many thought he would never be a Premier League quality player, but he well and truly showed he belongs at this level.
So much so that many clubs are sniffing around.
That’s the word from the generally reliable James Pearce at The Athletic. Pearce reports that West Ham are now interested in Phillips, along with Bayer Leverkusen. They join the queue of Burnley, Brighton, Newcastle United and potentially others. Everyone wants a piece of Nat.
The club apparently value Phillips at £15 million. There can be a tendency for these quoted figures to become a starting negotiation, with the eventual fee agreed to be much lower. But when there are this many parties interested, that feels less of a risk this time. One of these clubs should be the right fit for both Phillips and Liverpool.
It’s a little bit of a sad goodbye, but also the reality of the competition for the role. Ibrahima Konaté has arrived with Joe Gomez, Joël Matip and deep breath Virgil van Dijk all returning to fitness. Add in Ben Davies, who we swear is a real player, to that list and it does look like someone has to go.
If this is it, then Phillips should remain in good credit at Anfield for the foreseeable future. He came in at a time of desperation, with little expected of him, and couldn’t have acquitted himself much better. Whichever club lands him will be getting an excellent servant.
All the best if this is it, Nat.